News Briefs – August 31, 2016

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Crashed fighter jet located in Swiss Alps; pilot missing

Swiss authorities say they’ve located the wreckage of an air force fighter jet that went missing over the Alps but still have no news on the fate of the pilot.
The Swiss Defense Department said in a statement that the F/A-18C jet that went missing the afternoon of Aug. 29 was found crashed Aug. 30 near the Susten Pass in the Alps in central Switzerland.
It says it’s only been able to locate the crash site from the air, and that land routes are currently impassable because of weather conditions.
Search crews are still looking for the pilot.
According to parent company Boeing, the first F/A-18 Hornet built by McDonnell Douglas took flight in 1978 and became the first tactical aircraft aimed to conduct both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. AP
 

Decommissioned USS Independence to be towed to Texas

The decommissioned USS Independence will be towed from Washington to South Texas for dismantling.
The Brownsville Herald reported Aug. 30 that the retired aircraft carrier will depart later this year from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.
Officials with a recycling company, International Shipbreaking Ltd., say the mothballed 61,000-ton ship should arrive at the Port of Brownsville by March.
Company president Robert Berry says the Navy will pay International Shipbreaking around $6 million to tow and dismantle the Independence.
The USS Independence was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1958, commissioned the following year and decommissioned in 1998. It was among several U.S. military ships to carry the name Independence. AP
 

France criticizes Turkish military intervention in Syria

French President Francois Hollande has criticized Turkey’s “contradictory” military intervention in Syria and warned Russia not to become a “protagonist” in the war.
Hollande, in a diplomatic speech Aug. 30, said “multiple, contradictory interventions carry the risk of a general inflammation” of the fighting that has devastated the country.
He said he could understand Turkey’s concern about protecting its borders and fighting the Islamic State group, but criticized actions against Kurdish rebels allied with the U.S.-led coalition against the extremists. France is part of that coalition.
Hollande called for cooperation with Russia and said he would invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to France in October, saying Russia should be “a player in negotiations, not a protagonist in the action.”
Hollande said “the absolute urgency is a halt to fighting and a return to negotiations.” AP